(Answer) (Category) distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : (Category) the Client software : (Answer) My client is much slower since I upgraded my OS (or motherboard/cpu)!
Using a different Operating System on the same hardware usually produces less than 10% change in dnetc speed at most. Operating systems are almost exactly comparable in terms of efficiently using the processor's speed for executing programs. If you're expecting to get a major boost in keyrate by rebooting your machine into plain MS-DOS for the night and running the DOS client instead, you'll probably find that nearly any gain you've won was lost during the time you spent shutting down your machine and rebooting.

If you do see any significant differences in client speed in a different OS, there is more likely just a misconfiguration in the slower OS that is causing it to be unable to utilize your processor correctly. For instance, it may be operating the processor in a reduced power APM mode, or you may have an incorrect/buggy hardware driver that is causing it to constantly poll that device, or there may be some stray process/screensaver that is just stealing processor cycles. You should investigate those causes first.

If you upgrade your hardware and find that your client is operating significant slower, when you were expecting it to go faster with your newer hardware, you should definitely check your hardware settings. This includes settings such as APM power management, clock rate, motherboard frequency, and cache enablement features.

From my personal experience, OS does contribute significantly to the performance of the client.
I am currently running both Windows 98 SE and Redhat Linux 6.2 on my K6-2/500 system. Under Win98, I get approx. 580K keys; under Linux, I get approx. 860K keys. In both cases, I'm not running anything else. I'm just guessing that Windows start up a lot more "junk".
Another thing I can testify to is how much a GUI does NOT hog CPU. I get about the same performance in Linux regardless of whether I'm in the command-line or in X.
Windows is actually a disaster in GUI performance. For a quick checkup, open up your Task Manager and violently move your mouse around the screen. On my Celeron-466 I can get dnetc down to 75% CPU load this way. This is because Windows more or less sends a windows message to an application if you so much as look at your screen.
As a professional Windows GUI developer I have to defend this approach, since it makes for easy and fast creation of VERY powerful GUI's, and X is simply not up to par with that. That's why X is much more effective on the CPU load when you're actually actively using your computer.
There should not much of a difference when the computer is idle though.
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